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September 26, 1977

Skin Surgery

JAMA. 1977;238(13):1412. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280140090036

Increasing emphasis on surgical technique among dermatologists has created the need for a concise, practical textbook of office surgery. Unfortunately, this time-honored book has now outgrown the bounds of practicality in both length and cost. Presumably, the book aims primarily at dermatologists, as the editors and more than half of the 43 contributors are dermatologists. One wonders, therefore, why many specialized surgical techniques not ordinarily performed by dermatologists are included, such as ligation of varicosities, penile amputation, eyelid flaps and grafts, and surgery in the mouth. Also, why does the book wander away from actual surgery by including subjects such as immunotherapy, regional chemotherapy perfusion, and maxillofacial prosthetics?

Despite this unfocused overabundance of information, many chapters are excellent and on target. Instructions are given for setting up an office practice in surgery, as well as for performing the basics of "cold steel" surgery: skin disinfection, local anesthesia, biopsy taking, and